Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Out and Backer Vs. Looper

A friend and I are both on Nike+ and so I get to see the GPS immage of his runs on a regular basis.  I also search Strava for bike and run route ideas.  It was while looking at lines on a map that it suddenly occurred to me that not everyone likes to run loop runs and that apparently some people actually run out  and back on purpose.

My friend typically does the same trail everyday and I've even run it with him.  It is a nice trail and in the urban area he lives in, it gives him a chance to see a bit of nature and get away from traffic.  Yet when I see his run route I feel a bit sad for him.

I tend to go out of my way so that at least part of my run isn't an out and back.  I only do an out and back when...

  1. A loop would be a pain to pull off because of traffic, running by open sewage or near a middle school (trust me, stay away from middle schools)
  2. The view or trail is so amazing that it can't be beat
  3. I'm scared of getting lost
So I typically run loops.  I have loops that are 5K, 10K, 8 Mile and 13 miles.  I have a couple 5 mile loops which I really like.  I think one of my super powers is being able to go running, go in a sort of random exploring loop and have it end up being the distance or time that I need.  

If I only did out and backs, I wouldn't need this super power.  And who doesn't want to use their super power.

Yet my superpower does have its limits.  When my girls are on their bikes, I tend to run out and back.  That way I can always make the run shorter than I planned.  Also, I hide stuff along the trail and pick it up on the way home.  They are also really motivated by a destination.  And so we go out and back.  Kind of boring but it works.  

Now my challenge is to introduce them to the power of loops and hopefully they also have a super power that will be discovered as they explore the great world on feet and bike.

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